Archive for the ‘2011 legislative update’ Category

2011 Lege Wrap Up: No Mo’ Lowe

July 7, 2011

The frustration of Texas legislators with the State Board of Education‘s continuing efforts to drag public schools into the culture wars was so high that the confirmation of Gov. Rick Perry’s appointment of Gail Lowe, R-Lampasas, to another term as board chair this year never made it to the Senate floor. In fact, the Senate Nominations Committee didn’t even bother to hold a public hearing.

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2011 Lege Wrap Up: Anti-Bullying

July 5, 2011

Efforts to protect bullied schoolchildren in Texas have been largely unsuccessful in state legislative sessions past. But with the mounting number of high-profile tragedies across the country in the last couple of years — with some children driven to suicide by relentless bullying — those unsuccessful anti-bullying measures were bound to get a fresh look in the 2011 Texas Legislative session.

TFN tracked three anti-bullying pieces of legislation during the 2011 session. One of those, HB 1942, was a substantial victory in the fight to keep schoolchildren safe. Sponsored by state Rep. Diane Patrick, R-Arlington, the bill won final approval with bipartisan support in the waning days of the regular session and was signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry.

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2011 Lege Wrap Up: Religious Freedom

July 3, 2011

It’s a biennial legislative tradition in Texas — trotting out a new batch of devious proposals to merge religion and government and attack religious pluralism. And 2011 was no exception.  As the dust settles, the news on this front is mostly good for advocates of religious freedom, as none of the problematic legislation TFN worked to oppose on this issue ultimately made it to the governor’s desk. This should be considered a major victory, given the influx of culture warriors who joined the Texas Legislature this session.

Here are some highlights:

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2011 Lege Wrap Up: Vouchers

July 1, 2011

Tea Party, and religious-right and other anti-government fanatics launched full-scale attacks on public education, religious freedom and women’s health in the regular and special sessions of the Texas Legislature this year. Over the next week, TFN Insider will recap what happened on major TFN issues during the two sessions. Up today: private school vouchers.

Voucher advocates made two major efforts to pass an  enormously expensive scheme to drain billions of dollars from Texas public schools — a last-minute amendment to a major budget bill in the regular session and a stand-alone bill, HB 33, in the special session. Both of those efforts to subsidize private and religious schools through so-called “taxpayer savings grants” failed in the face of solid opposition from TFN, our partners in the Coalition for Public Schools and other supporters of public education.

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